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Asia300

Nikkei Asia300 Index rises as upbeat US manufacturing data cheers investors

MUMBAI (NewsRise) - Asian shares extended gains Wednesday, as positive factory activity data from the world's largest economies eased concerns of a global slowdown, boosting investor sentiment across the world.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index rose 0.2% to 1,042.59 points. Chinese liquor maker Kweichow Moutai, South Korean web portal operator Naver and China Shenhua Energy contributed heavily to gains on the gauge. PetroChina, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Samsung Electronics were major losers.

Global market sentiment, which got a shot in the arm Tuesday after China reported better-than-expected manufacturing data for December, received a further boost after U.S. and euro zone factory activity also rose.

Stocks on Wall Street rose and the dollar index hit near 14-year highs after the U.S. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Tuesday said its index of national factory activity rose to 54.7 last month, its highest level since December 2014.

European indexes advanced, also helped by upbeat manufacturing data from the region.

Major U.S. stock indexes have risen to record highs in recent weeks amid hopes Donald Trump's administration will usher in a period of improved growth in the world's largest economy. Regional markets have come under pressure as the Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise rates at a faster-than-anticipated pace.

Markets now await the Fed's December meeting minutes due later Wednesday and U.S. nonfarm payroll numbers for last month, due Friday.

The Nikkei Asia300 China Index edged 0.1% higher to 1,001.21 points. Kweichow Moutai, which rose over 50% in 2016, was up over 5% Wednesday.

Hong Kong's gauge slipped 0.2% to 974.14 points, weighed down by weakness in energy prices after oil prices retreated. PetroChina lost 1.2%, while China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) slipped 0.9%.

China Shenhua Energy however rose 3.3% after it said it will buy wealth-management products worth as much as 33 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) from China Construction Bank (CCB) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)

The Nikkei Asia300 Malaysia Index ended 0.9% higher at 944.07 points.

The ringgit slipped for a sixth consecutive session against the dollar and continues to trade around its lowest levels the Asian financial crisis. The world's biggest glove maker by production capacity Top Glove rose over 2%, as the export-dependent company stands to benefit from the currency's slide.

Singapore's gauge rose 0.3% to 978.68 points, extending yesterday's 0.7% advance. Data released Tuesday showed Singapore's gross domestic product likely expanded 9.1% in the October-December period, its fastest pace in three years.

The Nikkei Asia300 Philippines Index jumped 2.5% to 963.27 points, while Thailand's gauge rose 2.3% to 1,164.32.

The Nikkei Asia300 South Korea Index rose 0.3% to 1,108.88 points, led by a near 6% jump in web portal Naver's shares. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics gave up most of Tuesday's 1.1% advance to slip 0.9%.

India's index ended 0.6% lower at 1,005.21 points. Concerns that India will have to postpone the planned implementation of its long-awaited goods and services tax to between June and September from an earlier estimate of Apr. 1, 2017 weighed on local sentiment.

Investors also stayed on sidelines as they await corporate quarterly earnings, due to start next week and the government's annual budget for the next financial year, due on Feb. 1.

--Dhanya Ann Thoppil

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